Tuesday 16 July, 2019

Jamaicans Brown, Yee Sing bask in glory of World Cup experience

Referee Marie-Soleil Beaudoin with her assistants Princess Brown and Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing during the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 semifinal match between The Netherlands and Sweden of America at Stade de Lyon on July 03, 2019 in Lyon, France.

Referee Marie-Soleil Beaudoin with her assistants Princess Brown and Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing during the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 semifinal match between The Netherlands and Sweden of America at Stade de Lyon on July 03, 2019 in Lyon, France.

Jamaican assistant referees Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing and Princess Brown are basking in the glory of World Cup heaven.

Yee Sing and Brown are back home after an exemplary stint at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France where Concacaf giant the USA retained their title after blanking The Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon on July 7.

Yee Sing and Brown, who were among eight assistant referees and five referees representing Concacaf at the showpiece, top of their performance with doing duty in the semi-final match between The Netherlands and Sweden.

The Jamaicans supported Canada’s Soleil Beaudoin, who was in charge in the middle.

The pair continues to be the region's standard-bearers, after last year becoming the first Caribbean officials — male or female — to feature in a World Cup final at the Under-17 tournament in Uruguay.

Prior to being awarded one of the two semi-finals, the team of Brown and Yee Sing, along with Beaudoin, officiated three other games with distinction.

It started on June 8 with the Group B clash between Germany and China at Roazhon Park, Rennes, followed by the June 17 Group A fixture between Norway and South Korea at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims.

Their next assignment came on June 23, the Round of 16  between host France and Brazil at Stade Océane, Le Havre. The team was also reserved for two other contests.

Both Brown and Yee Sing are floating on Cloud Nine after the magical, life-changing experience.

“It was a great moment and an honour for us, it was also a challenge. We knew that we had to go out there and we had to work very hard to get another game, so we took it one game at a time to achieve our goal.

“I was really surprised (when we got the semi-finals) because you have other referees who were there who had a lot of World Cup experience, and for us to be there it was a great privilege,” noted Brown, the more experienced of the two.

 Brown, who rose from the deep rural Jamaican community of Mosquito Bottom in St Elizabeth parish, had made her debut at a global event when she officiated in one match at the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015.

The Jamaican made an observation on the use of the cutting edge Video Assistant Referee (VAR), which, on review, overturned an off-side call by her in France.

“It's a different system and you have to know how to work with VAR. I had a decision with VAR and I felt bad in myself not making the right decision because even though you have help, you want to make the decision on your own, but it is an experience and I was glad that VAR was there to correct me and I just have to move on from that,” Brown noted.

Yee Sing described the overall experience as “an amazing feeling”.

“It was my first World Cup and it surpassed what I went there to do, so I am happy about this accomplishment.

“We took it one game at a time, but to be doing a semi-final, I said to Princess I think I am a small fry compared to the other referees that were there. So I was totally surprised that I got to do a semi-final on my first attempt and I am really proud of that,” Yee Sing noted.

She said while it was her first time performing at the highest level, she was neither intimated nor fearful.

“There was no fear to make my calls because from what we learn at home, training should reflect the game and everything that we did in training is basically what came out in the game and our referee gave us that confidence in ourselves to make decisions and help her to make decisions, so we could look good as a team.

“So basically it is what we have been doing in training and how they see our growth, how we perform each game and how we improve on whatever task they gave us that may have resulted in us getting the semi-finals. And to be honest, they told us we exceeded their expectation, just as how we exceeded our own expectations,” she said.

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